M Falls in Alamo, Focus turns to Carr, ’06 M Blows another lead,
ONEKAMA, MICHIGAN DECEMBER 29, 2005 Oh my nerves are shot. Michigan surrendered another double digit second half lead and and lost the Alamo Bowl to Nebraska 32-28 late last night. The game featured several twists, bad calls, and nearly one of the greatest plays in college football history. No matter how you look at it, this loss was reflective of a sad season that will sting throughout the winter, spring and summer up until the 2006 Wolverines take the field. If Lloyd Carr doesn’t do something to stop this trend, Pam Ward will be calling Michigan games for ESPN2 next season.
Here are the takes on this game:
– Final Play. Listening to the radio in the morning and reading both the Detroit Free Press and News in the morning, you’d think that the final play was not a big deal. ESPN fortunately thought otherwise, breaking it down several times after the game and today in between breaks. This really makes this one a bitter pill. After watching it several times on ESPN.com, it looks like Tyler Ecker thought he could turn the corner on the Nebraska defensive back and score. He was pushed out of bounds at about the 14. Stevie Breaston, who played a great game on special teams, was trailing Ecker the whole time begging for the ball. Had Breaston got the ball, M would have scored. Now….with both teams clearly on the field during the play (although clearly more red players), would the refs have huddled after the score and called off-setting penalties, negating the play? Don’t know, but after all the ridiculous plays that occurred to get them to that point, it hurts that Ecker couldn’t make 1 final pitch to Stevie Wonder to put it into the endzone. Several Michigan players stopped playing on the miracle play including Jake Long and Chad Henne. Here’s a diagram of the crazy play:
And here’s the Youtube:
– Delayed Start. one of the drawbacks of playing in this crappy bowl is the TV coverage. With one feed, ESPN couldn’t cut to the start of the game without concluding the Boise State Bowl. So, Lew, K’s, and I had to listen to the beginning of the game via WJR.
– Replays induced by Timeouts. That Coach Carr had to call timeouts to get two keys plays reviewed is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous: ESPN reported on Thursday that the reply booth did indeed try to buzz down to the field to call for a review of the Nebraska touchdown drop but the pager did not buzz, it displayed an error. If this is true, two questions:
1. Why did the buzzer suddenly work a minute later after Carr called the timeout? The play was then reviewed and reversed!
2. If the buzzer didn’t work, why didn’t the refs do the right thing and give Michigan their timeout back after they knew of this? There is no question why Carr called the timeout (no team calls timeouts after the other team scores in the 3rd quarter).
– Refs. The Sun Belt conference referees called the game. As Mike Tirico noted at the end of the game, it was one of the worst officiated games in the history of mankind.
– Michigan homers. Tirico and former Buckeye & pretty boy Kirk Herbstreit called the game for ESPN and demonstrated a major information bias towards Michigan. This is with good reason: Herby is a Big Ten guys, and of course has ties to Michigan via his Buckeye heritage, and Tirico lives in Ann Arbor.
– Pressure on Carr. The pressure has evolved from being on the assistant coaches (Malone, Hermann), and onto Lloyd Carr. What will the future bring? Most think that Coach Carr only has 2-3 years left, perhaps seeing out the Henne/Hart through their senior seasons.